Intruder at Canada PM Justin Trudeau's residence faces 22 charges

A Canadian police officer walks by Rideau Hall on July 2, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

OTTAWA (AFP) -A 46-year-old Canadian army reservist who forced his way onto the estate where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lives was charged Friday (July 3) with 22 counts of firearms violations and uttering threats, police said.

Corey Hurren, who hails from Manitoba province, appeared briefly in court to hear the criminal charges filed over Thursday's incident at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

He will next appear in court on July 17, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said.

Among the charges filed against Hurren are possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and possession of a restricted firearm.

On Thursday, Hurren drove his pick-up truck into the estate's main gate, walked onto the grounds and was arrested without incident.

RCMP spokesman Mike Duheme said the suspect was carrying several weapons, but did not elaborate.

He did not offer details about the man's possible motive, but said it is believed Hurren acted alone.

Rideau Hall is the home of Governor General Julie Payette, Queen Elizabeth II's representative in Canada, a Commonwealth country.

Trudeau, his wife and three children are staying at Rideau Cottage on the estate because work is being done on his official residence.

"I want to stress that there was never any danger" to the prime minister and his family, or Payette, as they were not at the estate at the time of the incident, Duheme said.

Hurren is a member of the Rangers, a reserve unit of the Canadian army, the defence ministry said.

At the time of the incident, Hurren was considered to be "on duty" as part of the military's Covid-19 response efforts, the ministry said.

But he was not engaged in a particular work task at that time, it added in a statement, noting that he had travelled to Ottawa "without the knowledge" of his superiors.

The military said he was not carrying his service weapon at the time.

In October of last year, Trudeau wore a bulletproof vest during a re-election campaign rally in Ontario because of what were described as security threats.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.